Belfast Telegraph

SuperGroup cheers Christmas sales as plunging pound boosts profits

SuperGroup cheered sparkling Christmas sales as revenues and profits also enjoyed a boost from the plunging pound.

The company behind fashion retailer Superdry said retail revenues jumped 20.6% to £162.1 million in the 10 weeks to January 7, with sterling's weakness and the roll-out of new stores helping to drive growth.

Like-for-like sales rose 14.9% over the key festive trading period, thanks in part to a strong demand for jackets.

The Christmas update came as the group unveiled its half-year results, which showed a 31.1% leap in group revenues to £334 million in the 26 weeks to October 29 last year.

Underlying pre-tax profits stepped up by 8.8% to £21 million, while retail revenues climbed 25% to £215.2 million over the period.

It said "favourable currency movements", including the sharp drop in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote, had delivered about one third of the firm's revenue growth.

Chief executive Euan Sutherland said the board was confident of delivering full-year pre-tax profits in line with expectations.

"The first half-year has seen further good progress, with a strong sales performance in all channels, particularly wholesale.

"This converted to profitable growth after continued investment in both expanded distribution capability and in our development markets.

"Our focused strategy continues to deliver with new product innovations building sales, a strong pipeline of new international store opportunities, both owned and via franchise relationships, and clear momentum in our e-commerce proposition."

Shares were down more than 3% in afternoon trading on the London Stock Exchange.

SuperGroup opened nine new stores over the 10-week period to January 7, expanding its trading space by 74,000 sq ft.

For the half-year period, the firm boosted its trading space by around a fifth, opening 12 new stores.

Across the globe, it rolled out 31 new international franchises and licensed stores, expanding its portfolio to 304.

However, the group said it recorded a loss of £2.2 million in the United States and £1.3 million in China for the half-year, as the operations look to establish scale.